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Does Your Family Make You Smarter?


About the Book

Does your family make you smarter? James R. Flynn presents an exciting new method for estimating the effects of family on a range of cognitive abilities. Rather than using twin and adoption studies, he analyses IQ tables that have been hidden in manuals over the last 65 years, and shows that family environment can confer a significant advantage or disadvantage to your level of intelligence. Wading into the nature vs. nurture debate, Flynn banishes the pessimistic notion that by the age of seventeen, people's cognitive abilities are solely determined by their genes. He argues that intelligence is also influenced by human autonomy - genetics and family notwithstanding, we all have the capacity to choose to enhance our cognitive performance. He concludes by reconciling this new understanding of individual differences with his earlier research on intergenerational trends (the 'Flynn effect') culminating in a general theory of intelligence.​

Key Features

> Proposes a new method of estimating family effects by age on a range of cognitive abilities

> Banishes 'post-twin' pessimism, the notion that by the age of seventeen, people's cognitive abilities are determined by their genes

> Shows that family environment is potent enough to cause injustice and that adult environment is potent enough to allow people to upgrade their cognitive skills

Meet the Author

James R. Flynn, University of Otago, New Zealand

James R. Flynn is Professor Emeritus at the University of Otago, New Zealand, and a recipient of the University's Gold Medal for Distinguished Career Research. He is renowned for the 'Flynn effect', the documentation of massive IQ gains from one generation to another. Professor Flynn is the author of 12 books, including Are We Getting Smarter? (Cambridge, 2012), Where Have All the Liberals Gone? (Cambridge, 2008) and What Is Intelligence? (Cambridge, 2007), which caused many to rethink the prevailing theory of intelligence.

James Flynn Author Image


IQ expert James R Flynn talks about his new book, Does Your Family Make You Smarter?

Also by the Author

Are we getting Smarter? Book Cover
Where Have All the Liberals Gone? Book Cover
What Is Intelligence?
Does your family make you smarter cover image

Does Your Family Make You Smarter?

Nature, Nurture, and Human Autonomy

Author: James R. Flynn
Publication: June 2016
ISBN: PB 9781316604465
Price: £16.99 | $24.99

Contents Listing

Part I. Human Autonomy:

1. Twins and autonomy
2. Justice and freedom
3. The great debate
4. Slow and quick decay of family effects
5. Reconciliation with twins and adoptions
6. The fairness factor
Part II. Intelligence:
7. The Raven's revolution
8. Learning from astronomy
9. The meta-theory of intelligence
10. Scientific theories of intelligence
11. Psychology and Cardinal Bellarmine

Author Blog Posts

Author Blog Image


New York Post - Marrying for brains may actually make you smarter

Tech Times - Your clever friends and clever spouse can help boost your IQ 

Daily Mail - Why clever friends make you smarter (and stupid ones make you dumb)

Lifestylepeople - You can boost your own IQ - with help

The Irish Times - Does your family make you smarter? Ask the IQ expert

Subscription Required: 

The Australian - Smart Spouse and clever friends can raise your IQ

The Sunday Times - Smart spouse and clever pals can lift your IQ

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